Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Sarasvati (blue) & Manjushri

Sarasvati Main Page

There are four examples of Blue Sarasvati depicted in paintings.

Video: Blue Sarasvati

The first example HAR #531 has a Namasangiti-like figure of Manjushri with four arms and one face. In the lower right corner is Blue Sarasvati and in the lower left corner a White Manjushri in the usual appearance of Siddhaikavira.

The second example HAR #40378 is from the Rinjung Gyatsa/Lhantab of Jonang Taranata and depicts the Simhanada Manjushri with Blue Sarasvati of the Padampa Sanggye tradition. She appears in a squatting posture with the two hands at the heart in a teaching gesture holding stems of two utpala flowers with the blossoms supporting a sword and book. (Volume 1, folio 410).

Padampa Sanggye Lineage: Buddha, Rishi Surya Ratha, Brahmin Kuru Kumara, Sarasvati Bhadra, Dampa Sanggye, Dampa Kunga, Kukripa, Detong Gewa, Lochenpa, Lama Gonpo Bum, Sazang Pagpa, Ngorchen, Guge Panchen, Lowo Khenchen, Je Drolchog, Khenchen Lungrig Gyatso, [Jonang Taranata, etc.]. (Volume 2, folio 291). There are alternate lineages, not just a single source.

The third example HAR #71210 is of Manjushri atop a blue lion holding a sword and book embracing a blue coloured Sarasvati. She holds a vina and a book. It is possible that this form of the two deities is a 'pure vision' 'revealed treasure' teaching of Jamgon Mipam Rinpoche.

The fourth example HAR #86529, both a textile and a masterwork, depicts a form of Manjushri riding atop a blue lion. The hands are in the gestures of the Siddhaikavira White Manjushri. He holds the stems of two utpala flowers with the blossoms supporting a sword and book. At the lower right side is a standing Blue Sarasvati with the right hand holding an utpala stem to the heart and the blossom supporting an upright sword. The left hand holds a book to the heart. At the lower left side is Sudhana, the major character from the Gandavyuha sutra.

The remaining two black and white images are prints on paper made from wood blocks. They are the same image as the Rinjung Lhantab painting above (HAR #40378).

Jeff Watt 8-2022